Thursday, March 9, 2017

Beware the Six Month Rule

Back in Bangkok after an ill-fated trip to Singapore. We were planning to stay there for five days and then slowly travel north though Malaysia working our way back to Bangkok. Unfortunately, at customs Lee ran up against the Six Month Rule and we had to cancel our plans. In fact, only after a prolonged interview with the head of customs at the Singapore airport was he allowed into the country.

The Six Month Rule requires that, to enter the country, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your travel dates. A list of countries that have this requirement here. Lee's passport expires in April. We picked up six month tourist visas for Thailand before leaving the US, so we didn't learn about the rule until Singapore. They could have turned him away right there but, after showing return travel arrangements, he was permitted entry. Plus it probably helped that his passport was already full of stamps from other countries, some proof anyway of our nomadic life-style. We felt very lucky, especially after learning that Singapore is very strict about it. So, beware the Six Month Travel rule or you might find yourself on day one of a trip headed back home on the next available flight whatever the cost, whether you can afford it or not.

But we did stay five days in Singapore. More about that later.


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